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PCSO capture alligator in connection to death investigation

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Posted at 8:38 PM, Sep 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-25 06:34:24-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office (PCSO) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) responded to a call regarding an alligator in connection to a death investigation.

Deputies responded to 134th Ave N and 121st Street regarding a deceased person in McKay Creek with that gator.

The deceased victim was identified as Sabrina Peckham, 41.

According to neighbors they got the call after a man spotted something in the water.

"I was walking to work, to an interview. I just happened to look over into this lake and I saw the alligator head but then once I looked closer it had like a bottom torso in its mouth," said Ja'Marcus Bullard, "My brain was trying to not believe it. But it was real."

PCSO eventually recovered the remains of the deceased adult from the waterway.

According to authorities, the male alligator—which was 13-feet and 8.5-inches— was humanely killed and removed from the waterway. It's an incident that's left those in the neighborhood wanting the creek to be fully fenced off.

"My kids walk by there all the time, so it's really scary," said Jennifer Dean.

"It's scary and it's a lot of kids that come from school and walk this way. And they don't have any gates of anything," said Bullard.

The medical examiner's office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.

If you have concerns about an alligator, call FWC's toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286.

This is a developing story. ABC Action News will provide updates as they become available.